Planning any event comes with its own unique set of challenges. From logistical considerations to emerging day-of developments, many factors can influence the success of your student events and whether or not they can deliver a fantastic student experience.
Creating a positive experience for students is key to driving engagement, attendance, and outcomes of your student events — especially when you’re adding virtual events into the mix. Here’s a look at some of the most important things you can do to create a better student event experience on all your upcoming events:
1. Show Them What to Expect
The more your students know about what will happen during an upcoming event, the better they can prepare to make the most of the day’s offerings. Use the tools at your disposal to get them prepared and psyched for the event. Host virtual or live info-sessions for your potential attendees to give students an overview of the day’s events, keynote speakers/guests, supplementary resources, and —when applicable— an introduction to the technology you’ll be using to host the event so they know what to expect. For more complex topics or instructions, prepare how-to videos that can be shared, reused, and watched on demand to cut down on the work for your department while answering students’ most frequent questions and queries.
2. Consolidate Your Tech
How many different programs or apps do your students need to download in order to access basic resources and services on campus? Before you answer that question, consider that every department, teacher, and even individual event may have their own preferred software solution(s), leaving students to wade through a mess of redundant apps, logins, and passwords, many of which they’ll only ever use once and never again.
Cut the confusion and make event sign-up and check-in painless by limiting the number of apps, platforms, and software attendees need to use to come to your event. Less is more, so collaborate with other departments on campus to determine the short-list of programs you’ll all want in your shared tech stack. Or better yet, adopt an all-in-one virtual event solution like Brazen that can be used across multiple departments and groups. Your students (and their overburdened phones and inboxes) will thank you.
3. Provide a Help Booth During Your Event
For everything from event questions to immediate assistance requests, help should always be available where students and other event participants can easily find it. That’s where designated Help Booths come in. This simple addition to your virtual or live event planning can literally mean the difference between a positive and negative event experience, all while giving you a pulse check in regards to the issues and questions that affect your participants the most.
4. Make it Fun
Everyone loves a fun game, and students are no exception! Gamify parts of your event to engage guests in new and exciting ways. For instance, you can set up an interactive scavenger hunt to drive traffic around your event or challenge your students to interview key attendees and get the answers to a set of topical questions. Divide guests into teams and pit them against each other in a series of activities or quizzes to win prizes and awards, or have solo challenges that reward participants based on different skill sets and abilities. The sky’s the limit in terms of what you can do to drive engagement within your student events!
5. Equip Your Booth Owners
A student’s event experience will only be as good as the sum of their interactions. So don’t forget to give your booth owners the tools, training, and resources they’ll need to shine! This means doing things like communicating registration numbers in advance (so that booth owners can calibrate staffing them in order to speak with as many students as possible), giving them insights and best practices to follow, and using a tool that offers them 24/7 live support during the event (like Brazen!). Equipping everyone who will be a part of your team for success won’t just improve their performance, but it will boost the experience your students have as well.
6. Enable Follow Up
For student events such as virtual career fairs, an important part of their experience will happen after your event. So make sure you’re using a tool that equips employers to quickly follow up with top candidates, integrates with their CRM, and enables organizations to continue the relationship with students even after your event concludes.
One final note - measuring student experience is an important way to understand if you’re hitting the mark. So make sure you’re surveying students after each event to gather feedback so you can see how your approach is working, calibrate as needed, and continue to refine how you are delivering a bigger and better student event experience at each subsequent event.
So regardless of whether you’ll be hosting an admissions event, a career fair, a hackathon, an orientation session, or something completely new, try some of these tips to boost the overall quality of the student event experience your organization delivers for absolutely dazzling results.
Like this post? Try these!
- Create an Amazing Candidate Experience in a Virtual Event: Tips from Brazen’s Experts
- Event Ideas to Prepare Your Students for Their First Virtual Job Fair
- How to Improve Candidate Experience in Recruitment: A Master Guide